Mahesh Pandya, Director, Paryavaran Mitra wrote a letter to PM to postpone the Draft EIA Notification 2020. Paryavaran Mitra is a Gujarat-based organization working on socio-environmental issues since 1997 to advocate for human rights in the face of growing environmental degradation and pollution.
Shri. Narendra Modi
Hon’ble Prime Minister of India
Subject: An appeal to postpone the Draft EIA Notification 2020
Respected Shri Narendra Modi Ji,
Today I like to draw your attention to the very important issue related to environment and public participation. The Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Change posted “Draft EIA Notification 2020” on 12th March 2020 on its website and asked for comments/suggestion from people within 60 days. You are well aware that Covid-19 disease was spreading in India during March-April and we are in lockdown since March 25 in accordance to comply with your order.
The Ministry got several representations for extending the notice period expressing concern that the draft EIA Notification 2020 was published during the lockdown imposed due to the Corona Virus (COVID-19) pandemic. Therefore, the Ministry after due consideration, extend the notice period up to 30th June, 2020.This is very positive step from ministry but in post Covid-19 time, we have to be more responsible towards the environment.
In current situation, every citizen of India is only concerned about the situation of Corona. At such times, the citizens of India are not in a state of mind to express their views on the draft EIA notification and are engaged in Corona related activities. Generally, voluntary organizations send their suggestions/objections regarding the draft notification after consulting people affected by pollution. In this lockdown situation, it is not possible to consult local people and local social workers working at grass root for environmental issues.
In the current corona affected situation, there seems no chance to get normal condition even by June 30, so I would like to suggest that the MoEF & CC, Government of India should postpone this Draft EIA notification 2020 indefinitely.
At the same time, I like to suggest to form an expert committee which can study the environmental changes took place due to lockdown and the findings of this study can be properly incorporated in the draft EIA notification.
You always value public participation in decision making process, Your slogan “SAB KA SAATH, SAB KA VIKAS & SAB KA VISHWAS” symbolized your trust in public participation. The World and the people of the India knew about your concerns about global warming and pollution. You always given special attention for environmental protection, your concern for mother earth reflected through your words spoken at every international platform.
With the positive vibration of your approach towards mother Earth, I like to suggest you that consider present corona situation and postpone the draft EIA Notification 2020 till normal situation returns.
Environment should be on our priority list in post covid-19 era. New EIA notification with lessons from lockdown will be wise step for protection of nature. This is an appeal to you to consider the suggestions.
With trust and hope that in the interest of the environment and the country, you will surely help to defer draft EIA 2020 notification.
Director, Paryavaran Mitra
502, Raj Avenue, Bhaikakanagar Road
Thaltej, Ahmedabad – 380059
Phone No: 079-26851321